Eel smuggling and the press mixes up its eels


Photo credit: The Sun

Meanwhile, in Europe — a smuggler tried to bring 600,000 European eels (Anguilla anguilla) onto a plane. They were at the glass eel stage, where the fish are less than 15 cm in length and translucent, hence the name “glass eel”. Full story here:

Why would someone try to do this? Well, all those eels are worth approximately approximately $1.46 million dollars! These fish are incredibly valuable both economically and as part of the ecosystem, but unfortunately their populations have crashed as a result of overfishing, dams, parasites, habitat degradation, climate change and other reasons.

As is sometimes the case with the mainstream media, The Sun manages to mix up two kinds of fish with a completely unrelated video of an electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) filmed in Brazil. While these species may have a similar common name, they are actually not that similar, with the European eel being in the order Anguilliformes and the electric eel in Gymnotiformes. An electric eel is actually classified as a knife fish and is not a true eel. Anguillid eels cannot use electricity to find or attack prey.

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